Italy Announces Sweeping Cultural Reforms

Recently appointed head of Italy’s department of cultural heritage, Dario Franceschini, announced a suite of reforms to his organization and its subsidiaries across the country, on Monday, L’Espresso reports. The reforms were spurred by the need to eliminate at least 37 top-level positions within the department in order to comply with new budgetary law intended to help place the cash-strapped government back on track.

In keeping with a new breed of Italian government that has been noted since the country’s youngest-ever Prime Minister, Mateo Renzi, took office in February, Franceschini’s plan breaks from tradition. Rather than consulting industry experts, he has sought in most cases to look for ways in which Italy’s wealth of cultural heritage can be used to generate increased capital for the country while minimizing costs.

Principally, this includes a more direct link between his office of cultural heritage and tourism. He told the paper that the single worst enemy his plan wishes to combat is the, “absolute lack of integration,” between the ministry’s two major goals: cultural preservation and tourism generation.

The other main arm of Francschini’s seeks to cut down on thick layers of bureaucracy, which experts say have hobbled the growth of the cultural sector in the country for years. The minister said that museums would be given more autonomy and self-determination in their funding. Most will be organized through 17 regional museum authorities overseen by a single general director in Rome who will work with those authorities to optimize ticketing and scheduling priorities.

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